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Monday, 3 September 2012

Record Review - Alan Clayson

One Dover Soul

Self-released CD

Cult veteran Alan Clayson has always polarised opinion. In 1976, whilst fronting the awkward-to-define Clayson & The Argonauts, he and his merry men were marched from a Reading venue at gunpoint, because the promoter decided they were so shit he wasn‘t going to pay. Two weeks later, miscast on a bill of new wave/punk bands at a showcase gig in Guildford, the Argonauts emerged with a rave NME review. Plus ca change, as Francophile Clayson might say, having hopefully come to terms with his perennial ‘one man’s meat…’ reputation by now.

One Dover Soul is his first solo offering since 1995 [he’s an author too, with Backbeat, the best-seller subsequently made into a movie, and an authorised Yardbirds biog among his notable successes]. It’s an album containing many Argonaut-like qualities - Alan’s wobbly croon, ragged song structures, and curious melodies that float somewhere between olde English drinking songs and Arthur Brown-style 60s psychedelic rock.

Produced by Clayson’s mate Wreckless Eric (you’re getting the idea now) it will doubtless delight fans who regard Clayson as a legend. But plenty others will also enjoy a dabble in his mystical world. Personally, I’m quite taken by 'Ug The Caveman', which has a barmy Python/Bonzo-esque feel about it.

Chris Twomey

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